Progress as ‘CaFi’ is developed for black mental health

Psychologists at the University of Manchester have developed Culturally-adapted Family Intervention (CaFI) for African-Caribbean people diagnosed with schizophrenia and their families.

In the UK, more African-Caribbean people are diagnosed with schizophrenia than any other
ethnic group. Unfortunately, they have worse care and outcomes. Family intervention (FI) helps people with schizophrenia to recover but services struggle to deliver FI.

It is especially difficult for people from minority groups to get FI, so it is unknown if FI would work as well for African-Caribbeans as it does for White British people. It is also unknown if they would like FI, even one made just for them.

The study aimed to see if:

1. Psychologists could work with African-Caribbean people and healthcare staff to change FI to better meet the needs of this community
2. Other people could support service users who were not in contact with their families
to take part

“We were able to change FI”, Dr Dawn Edge, University Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion told TNT. “Thirty-one African-Caribbean service users and their families volunteered to test our new ‘CaFi’. In the end, 26 family units tried CaFI. Nearly all of them (24 out of 26) finished all 10 sessions”.

“Service users, their families, and health staff all said they liked CaFI and would recommend it to other people. As African Caribbean people have had such bad experiences of mental health services, this is a good achievement”, Dr Edge explained.

“It is now important to find out if CaFI helps people from becoming unwell again and going
back into hospital. This would mean testing CaFI with a lot more people in different parts of
the country to see if it works”, she said.

“We would need to be sure it worked well before the NHS could fund CaFI. With so many different ethnic groups in Britain, we also need to find out this kind of therapy could be made suitable for people with schizophrenia in all ethnic minority groups (culturally-adaptable)”.

TNT Health

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